28 November, 2012

Pacific "hack" for adapting local content for the XO

OLPC Oceania technical field expert, David Leeming, reports on a neat hack to adapt for the XO content created on the still ubiquitous Powerpoint, a tool many teachers and curriculum developers in the Pacific still use every day.
"This will help lots of people create content that will play on the XO without any special training or further modification. Only the flash codec (plug in) is needed, and a free download for PowerPoint.
PowerPoint is still a tool many teachers and curriculum developers will be familiar with. But PPT does not play on the XO. However, with the Flash codec installed, a SWF file will.
So all you need is a handy free PPT to SWF converter. iSpring is a great one – free plugin , just install and it appears as a tab in PowerPoint. can also convert PPT to SWF with Open Office Impress, but it doesn’t convert all the animation. However, that will reassure the purists. Personally, I think PowerPoint with iSpring does the job better so why not use it.
To play the SWF file on the XO, you can’t start it from the journal just by clicking on it – it needs to start in Browse (where the flash plug in is installed).
To do this from the journal (or a USB stick) you have to start the Browse activity and then navigate to the file and it will play perfectly.
Even easier on the XS Server. Just create a public folder and copy the SWF files to it."
Now educators can easily use an existing legacy tool such as Powerpoint to make new content or adapt existing content for the XO: including multimedia, animation, embedded audio and so on.

-- David Leeming, Solomon Islands Rural Link

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